The New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2015 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Unit History
Since the attacks of September 11, one organization has been at the forefront of America's military response. Its efforts turned the tide against al-Qaida in Iraq, killed Bin Laden and Zarqawi, rescued Captain Phillips and captured Saddam Hussein. Its commander can direct cruise missile strikes from nuclear submarines and conduct special operations raids anywhere in the world.
Relentless Strike tells the inside story of Joint Special Operations Command, the secret military organization that during the past decade has revolutionized counterterrorism, seamlessly fusing intelligence and operational skills to conduct missions that hit the headlines, and those that have remained in the shadows-until now. Because JSOC includes the military's most storied special operations units-Delta Force, SEAL Team 6, the 75th Ranger Regiment-as well as America's most secret aviation and intelligence units, this is their story, too.
Relentless Strike reveals tension-drenched meetings in war rooms from the Pentagon to Iraq and special operations battles from the cabin of an MH-60 Black Hawk to the driver's seat of Delta Force's Pinzgauer vehicles as they approach their targets. Through exclusive interviews, reporter Sean Naylor uses his unique access to reveal how an organization designed in the 1980s for a very limited mission set transformed itself after 9/11 to become the military's premier weapon in the war against terrorism and how it continues to evolve today.
Naylor (Not a Good Day to Die), a journalist who specializes in covering special operations, has produced the most complete history to date of the most secret organization within the U.S. military: the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Given the organization's super-secret status, much of Naylor's engrossing material was gleaned from hundreds of interviews with former members. He traces the evolution of the organization, its tactics, and its missions, beginning with JSOC's inauspicious conception in the wake of the failed 1979 Iran hostage rescue mission and ending in 2014 with the successful rescue of an American and a Danish aid worker abducted by Somali pirates. According to Naylor, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, JSOC's mission set, size, and capabilities expanded significantly, to the point where it became "America's premier weapon in the war against terrorism." Over the course of the Iraq War, JSOC developed a sophisticated global intelligence capability that rivaled the CIA's, and was linked to America's elite commando units. Naylor's narrative covers everything from briefings in the White House to SEAL firefights in the mountains of Afghanistan. He also describes the failures, rivalries, conflicts of personality, and arguments over strategy that are as characteristic of JSOC as its tactical excellence. Naylor's powerful and informative history is essential to understanding America's evolving military capability and the on-going war against global terrorism.